The finale of my Winchester Autoloader drawings trilogy, here's the Winchester 1911SL. Yep, apparently there was another American gun called the 1911, but unlike the astonishingly successful pistol that was John Moses Browning's possible greatest gift to mankind, this 1911 has more or less faded into total obscurity. The Winchester 1911 arose as a direct competitor to the legendary Auto 5 shotgun, but the difficulty in creating it arose from Browning's extensively thorough use of patent protection on the design of the Auto 5, which ironically arose from lessons he learned dealing with Winchester conning him out of his fair share of the profits from his guns because he didn't sufficiently patent protect them.
T.C. Johnson, a brilliant firearm designer in his own right, took ten years to come up with a design for an autoloading shotgun that would both function and not infringe on John Browning's patents. The end result was an oddity of a shotgun that had a number of questionable features as a way to work around patent protection of the Auto 5. This included recoil rings that buffered the recoil which were made of fiber, and an unusual method of cocking the gun which involved grabbing the barrel and yanking it backwards. The latter feature went on to earn the 1911SL notoriety as a "Widowmaker" due to the practice of poorly informed gun owners placing the gun buttstock down, barrel upwards and straddling the gun to get better leverage on the weapon to cock it or clear a jam. The gun would then slam fire as the barrel came upwards, giving the rocket scientist standing over the barrel a very terminal case of lead poisoning.
Being inferior to the Browning Auto 5 in every conceivable way, the 1911 SL faded into obscurity quietly, never being adopted by the military and finding only sparse use in civilian and police hands. Today these guns can be acquired for extremely low prices as little collector's interest has developed around them.